New Apple Announcement

Obviously quite a bit is going to be written about Apple’s new releases today. Hopefully I can cover new ground.

First, i thought it was smart of Apple to announce their ITV product. Streaming from a PC to a device connected to your TV with multiple connectivity options , HDMI, Component, Digital Audio is certainly nothing new. IO Data has a box that can wirelessly read from a PC, as do others. I use15 an IO data box as a DVD player as well as for playing back directly from a portable hard drive to an HDTV. That said, I dont think there is any question that Apples implementation will be cleaner and more popular.

There are a couple things that are special about Apple’s announcement today as it pertains to Movies and TV shows.

1. The 80gbs hard drive.
The opportunity to download movies to a hard drive and KEEP THEM THERE and replay them AS OFTEN AS THE USER LIKES. Is critical. Its a great first step towards carrying around your video library as easily as you carry around your music. As hard drives grow, so will the number of titles you can store, and of course the door will open for high def. Its clear that the Ipod is not only a playback device, but is a personal or family digital content host.

I personally have digitized almost every picture and home movie i have ever taken or had given to me . I currently only have room on my IPod for the pics, my music and a few videos. As storage expands, so will my storage of personal content. I also have found transferring baby pics and videos to a new Ipod and giving it as a gift to relatives is easy and more humane than making everyone sit through the pics and videos at our house.

2. THe 1.5mbs encoding speed for self proclaimed “near DVD quality” is important. First of all it sets a quality floor using H.264 and they didnt lie and call it DVD quality. Others that want to call their offerings DVD quality will at least have to match. It also means that HD quality, when it comes, will really be HD quality at 8mbs or more encoding levels.

3. The first two items are nice , but its No 3 that is tthe key to the future of digital content.

The most important element of Apple’s announcement today is that the IPod interface is now viewable on your HDTV. Cable and Satellite companies are working hard, spending tens of millions of dollars to optimize their Programming Guides to incorporate Video On Demand, DVR ability, Internet Content, Purchase of content and TV Programming Guides. Of course this is a matter of my opinion, but I think that the Apple interface, because it already has tens of millions of consumers trained to buy content on impulse has to have the edge. Adding a Programming Guide of TV shows and controlling a tuner (in your TV using OCAP possibly) or a tuner built into a future ITV box would put it square in the crosshairs of the cable and satellite companies as a direct competitor.

Its going to be very interesting to see how not only cable and satellite respond, but also how TV manufacturers respond.

I just ordered my HP MediaSmart TV . It‘s 37″, and does technically everything that the ITV appears to do. Except run the IPod interface and enable buying from the ITMS (itunes music store). If HP makes it as easy to buy, AND TO SAVE TO A HARD DRIVE with as slick a user interface as the Ipod and ITMS, then why wouldnt i just plug my 80gbs PDA into my TV and use it to store and playback all my digital content and read from a networked computer for anything else ? And of course it could easily have a direct broadband connection for any internet connectivity.

And the cable and satellite companies can, and in some cases have already enabled the same technical features in a set top box.

The big problem for all the above is that it will be a battle.

So what does this mean to video on the net for everyone else ? For movies, nothing. Nada. Downloading wont get any faster. DRM is still a nightmare. High Definition video from the net is still a nightmare. In fact, the best way to beat Apple in this game is for cable and satellite companies to push as much content as possible to HD. The greater the expectation for HD content from consumers, the less value to consumers for downloading movies.

For TV shows, its still a great idea. Selling TV shows is found money for Apple and producer.

And of course retailers continue to be big losers in this. Apple gets a movie store with unlimited inventory, for no inventory cost (that we know of), at a price that appears to be lower than what retailers currently sell many DVDs for. (unless of course Disney withholds certain DVDs from Apple in the future and only makes less popular titles avialable day and date with their DVD release. Retailers are asked to stock their shelves and warehouses, deal with carrying and marketing costs and sell their products at what looks like premium pricing.

Which means it wouldnt be a surprise if retailers sent a loud and clear message to non Disney related studios about the direction their stocking orders will go if they cooperate with Apple.

Apple did a great job making their UI available to HDTV users. Thats a good thing and will certainly speed the competitive landscape. But one thing it will not do, is speed up downloads. I dont know where Apple is getting 5mbs throughput for an entire 2 hour movie, but i want some where i live in Dallas.

55 thoughts on “New Apple Announcement

  1. so how’s the HP mediaSmart experience? do you like it?
    and 1080i do you think 1080p would have been a better choice?

    is apple’s iTV going to enhance picture quality.

    I should go meet some of you HDnet folks in Denver, I’d like to be ready when this new Hi-Fi compoent video wave hits and we’ve got something to talk about.

    enjoyed you talk with Eisner although he’s not charlie rose, he doesn’t seem to hear what you were saying about a seat at the table.

    finally, while I’m rollin’ get a liquor license and digital projection for your boulder theater and upgrade the place, it could do a lot more business, its a little funky and two theaters in town are closing because Century is opening a multi-Sumner.

    let’s meet next year.

    Comment by DL Thomas -

  2. Regarding the comment above re apple & venue localized upselling of digital content, the way to do that is wirelessly. How long until we see the wireless ipod (wipod) – then how long before we see wireless distribution methods in venues such as theatres or stadiums? (What, if anything, is Mr. Divinia up to these days?)

    Comment by nonattender -

  3. Any ideas on a marketing between the Soundtrack and the movie at the time of purchase? In sales add-ons are everything, so obviously a two-pack of digital content might market better and boost sales. Do you think Apple would use this to get the package cost up to that of the “premuim pricing” that would be in place at local retailers? I think it would be a smart move, charge $19.99 and throw in the digital downloads of the songs from the soundtracks … it’d entice me even more to shop for my movies digitally before heading to my local Best Buy. Perhaps, the only enticing method for me to endure the long download times?

    Comment by KPXLTD -

  4. http://guolianghua.blogcn.com

    Comment by guolianghua -

  5. With my current connection it would take about half a day to download a mpeg4 high definition movie. This is hindering my strategy to live in bed.

    Comment by vacuum -

  6. In the unlikely that Mr. Cuban or someone from his organization actually reads this I would like to know where one can send scripts and treatments for both movies and cable to Mr Cubans production companies? He’s such and innovator I would like to think that he’s one of those people that might actually realize that some of us out here have talent and might be coming up with profitable ideas and storylines. The conventional entertainment industry sure doesn’t want to hear from us. How about it Mr. Cuban? Want to be as innovative here as you have been with everything else?

    Comment by Mark Holly -

  7. And the real battle has only begun! Verizon is pumping fiber through the neighborhoods as fast as possible..I have a 15Mb FIOS and an 8 Mb cable connection…I pump files up and down the net all day and this is where the real battle ground will be. Just like the electric company controls your life in that regard the next verizon oooopppps I mean horizon will be who can deliver that magic signal in the best way with the most goodies……

    Comment by Mike Schrengohst -

  8. Have anyone seen new answer of Microsoft on iPod? It’s full copy of iPod! Even design. If I was chief manager I killed their designers

    Comment by Biz -

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    Maple Story Mesos and Power Leveling
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    Runescape Gold Money

    Comment by Runescape Gold Money -

  10. The MediaSmart TV is a classic example of a concept that would SEEM to have widespread appeal but will only excite early adopters. It’ll be gone in a year or two and “convergence” will still rank right up there with the Holy Grail as virtually unattainable symbols of nirvana.

    What I find interesting about iTV is that it is basically the hardware platform I had conceptualized. Add peer2peer software for delivering movies and its my concept in a nutsack. Offering high-quality videos with great compression is a formula for wide-spread video piracy and Apple’s DRM has more holes in it than a hooker convention. So how does Apple deal with that issue? Turn iTunes into a closed system P2P video delivery system. All Apple has to do is find a way to prevent the TRANSFER of video files from user to user. I see content being able to be transferred freely amongst a user’s own group of devices but I’m thinking that transferring video BETWEEN users will be next to impossible. Apple can afford the bandwidth to deliver direct to every user but P2P is “sexy” and will provide a massive ROI in the shape of severely reduced bandwidth costs.

    So that’s MY prediction… Apple is transitioning from a computer company to a content distribution company via it’s own proprietary closed system (iTunes up until this point has been primarily a vehicle to sell hardware, Apple makes very little profit from its iTunes Store). The coolness factor and ease of use alone will allow Apple to pull off what no other company has the cachet to do. The dream of millions of titles of video-on-demand is only a couple of years away and Apple is laying the groundwork. Pretty good pricing, ease of use, cool devices… the only thing missing now is a fully fleshed out distribution system. Up until now, iTunes has only been the frosting on Apple’s hardware cake… pretty soon, it will be the whole enchilada.

    Comment by 11nong -

  11. That HP Mediasmart set looks great also! I may have to look into that.. I’d hate to buy it and lose the support due to lack of interest.

    Comment by imdbcn -

  12. Apple absolutely cool. Will Apple become the next Microsoft?

    Comment by steve -

  13. Apple continues to lead the pack with new technologies and Microsoft continues to copy and steal competitors ideas and applications!

    Mark, i have a small question/idea. We can all download T.V. shows, but what about the people that enjoy football and cannot stay up all night watching monday night football. It would be nice to setup your ipod to download monday night football and take it to the gym with you before work so you can watch the game before all your friends spoil the entire game. Is there a way to currently do this? Many people would probably pay for this.

    Comment by Port Orange Real Estate -

  14. Mark I got a Question for you?… How do you get software made, because I have a killer Idea for a great PC application but I have no idea how to get it made since I don’t know programming.

    I did go to school and study C++ and computer infomations systems but I can’t write a program to save my life.

    I love my Ipod but ever since itunes I have been saying someone could do something really cool here for all us PC users. My app is not an itunes clone there’s alot more too it then that. So do you have a company you could recommend or any ideas on how to get a project like this done.

    thanks in advance..

    Comment by Crazyglues -

  15. Just what I was asking for. Thx.

    It will be interesting to see if Apple can survive in the living room. Others have tried and mostly failed. I do wonder if you’re talking 20 minutes of TV content vs. a 2 hour movie if the equation changes. I’m not sure how good H.264 really is, but if it could get a 20min long 1280×720/30fps down to a 1 hour download during off peak hours as part of a subscription, I’m game.

    Comment by Joe -

  16. I had a hotline server, then a Haxial KDX server for a number of years which were bootlegger’s paradise. So it is funny to me seeing slicked-up versions of of stuff that has been around for a really long time. But I remember having to rip the video separate from the audio and then syncing it up in Final Cut Pro. We had wooden keyboards back then and used to get splinters… nyerk!

    What I see, and am working on, as the next thing to piss off the RIAA is wi-fi mesh sharing hubs. So whole neighborhoods (like deep ellum) having hives of video (and audio) content and sharing it at near DVD quality. Right now we are working strictly on 2.4 wifi mesh, but the hardware can support dual radios so we could have 5.8 backhaul with 2.4 or WiMax serving up the content. Even just serving up iTunes playlists with entire networks (which the current config should do) is going to be great. So keep a lookout for FREEDEEP in your wireless networks, Mark, and pretty soon I will have the iTunes libraries shared. And you might be rich, but I have a music collection that King Kong can’t touch.

    Comment by deepwireless -

  17. Where is update?

    Comment by Gloom -

  18. Lots of people knew a new itunes was coming with movies. What wasn’t known was how much of a let down it would be without their new widescreen ipod. So instead what they basically did was make an ipod with a brighter screen that can play games. Because they knew it was a huge let down, they decided to drop their overpriced ipod by 50 dollars.

    So what about those itunes movies, neat right? Well, they say they are 640 x 480 resolution “near dvd quality” at $14.99 in the quicktime protected format. As we all know, dvd resolution is 720 x 480. This was obviously intentional because movie studios would not want iTunes movies competing with dvd sales. So to put this in perspective, they cost about the same as a DVD, but can only be played on an iPod or PC with quicktime. What market are they going for exactly? Lets make a market, lets create iTV. Who would buy that? Idealy no one, but there are a few people out there thinking its somehow a good idea.

    The bottom line is that this might have been exciting news had it come out 3 years ago. A time when DVDs were still considered the best quality you could imagine for the home. But now we know better. Now we have tvs that have a native resolution of 1920 x 1080, also known as 1080p. We realize that HDTV surpassed DVD quality many years ago and have been patiently waiting for DVDs to play catchup.

    Basically what I am trying to say is that Apple is clueless. They haven’t made an innovative iPod for years now. It’s just the same overpriced hardware. Mp3 players have had features such as video playback, FM radio, and more for much cheaper. What they do good is to dumb down hardware and simplify it so the average joe buys it. Apple is smart, they have their gimmicks and adhere to copywrite laws and still manage to make a boatload of money by marketing towards the average joe while SLOWLY innovating. But that’s just something I have no interest in. Do you?

    Hey, I’ve got an idea Apple. How about a limited edition 30 gig Star Wars iPod that comes with Empire Strikes Back on apple video format. Ooly $499. That way we can combine Apple fanboys who will buy anything with Star Wars fanboys who will buy anything. Thus creating the ultimate buying machine. Think about it.

    Comment by brant -

  19. “Downloading’s not going to get any faster.”

    I get 8mbps in Denver using a regular cable connection. That’s ACTUAL TESTED SPEED (speakeasy.net/speedtest). Not the cable co’s claim. And as far as storage goes, you can get a 160 Gig external 7200 RPM external hard drive for $120 and prices will continue to plummet. Video retailers should be very, very afraid. Of course, one good butt-saving strategy might be for them to start selling I-Pods :) Mark, what was that about wanting a new way to promote your movie sales? :)

    Comment by Rob -

  20. Viewable interface is a real achievement as for me. Others are just development of existing and interface is a success, and innovation

    Comment by Brid -

  21. Hum, How about doing what netflix does for DVD’s for ITV? sort of like doing away with download and having it be sent to them over the mail automatically every month or so as an option to downloading? I think netflix and blockbuster should consider it?

    Comment by Mitchell -

  22. Mark, does Verizon offer their FIOS service off the tollway where you’re located?

    Comment by Brandon Campbell -

  23. Mark,

    I think part of the problem is that as technology improves we will always want more bandwidth and faster download speeds. It will more than likely be a never ending desire for speed!

    Comment by Online Degree -

  24. Many companies are entering this space of video and TV on the web or by download. Apple, Google, Amazon, NBC, CNN, YouTube, etc.

    Can you pick the winner? Watch what customers are paying for:

    * 42 million iPods sold as of Jan. 2006
    * 850 million songs sold as of Jan. 2006
    * Average selling price has not fallen substantially

    key ingredients to Apple’s success as a disruptor in the music business:

    * Simple: Single-function device
    * Users pay for content
    * Apple had nothing to lose and the most to gain by cannabilizing the music business

    Why did Sony, which created the Walkman, had the electronics expertise and owned record labels fail at this?

    http://www.ondisruption.com/my_weblog/2006/09/disrupting_tv.html

    Comment by Michael Urlocker -

  25. So what is Apple’s next step after iTV? Everyone keeps talking about TV-internet-computer convergence, but the reality always seems to be another five years away. Even if Apple can get me to buy all my entertainment (movies, music, TV) through iTunes), and stream it to my living room HD monitor, there is still an internet service provider between me and Apple. My ISP is probably a cable company, which wants to keep charging me $90/month for both cable and internet.

    What Apple should have announced is this: They are taking their huge cash supply and buying Comcast. And at for Q3 2007 they are going to make available to Comcast customers the iMac Home (MediaMac?). This is an Apple-designed box that starts with incorporates a Mac mini, digital cable tuner, DVR, cable modem, and wireless router; all integrate into Front Row. To install, plug in the cable and power cords, and turn it on. Users get the benefits of the intuitive Apple interface and one box replacing several. Networks and studios get the benefit of Apple’s proven success with content protection and distribution. And Comcast gets out of my way.

    Comment by Tim -

  26. I don’t want to carry my movies around with me. I just want to be able to download them whenever I want, for, maybe a quarter a play and then throw ‘em away.

    And, while I’m at it, forget movies (except the ones I saw as a kid); what I want is TV shows (the ones I saw as a kid and can’t get anywhere, today).

    I want, I want, I want…

    Comment by Larry Blumen -

  27. http://loadingcreations.com

    Comment by lheine -

  28. I still think Apple missed the boat by not coming up with a new IPod that connects directly to your TV. This would be a simple way to watch HD or other video content on your TV. You download a video to your computer and transfer it to your IPod or even better approach would be directly download the video to your IPod. From there they would have a cradle that you put your IPod into and it would connect to your TV. I think that would be the DVD killer. Here is a device that does what I’m talking about – http://www.archos.com/products/video/archos_604/index.html?country=global&lang=en

    The ITV is cool and I have 3 of those types of devices in my house. Two of which are the D-Link Media Lounge 520(http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=1&pid=438) and the other being a Roku SoundBridge(http://www.rokulabs.com/products/soundbridge/models.php#M500_model). These devices are not easy to setup for your average user and the ITV will have the same challenges(I can go into the challeges if anyone wants to know). Don’t get me wrong. I think these wireless media players are great, especial considering I have access to a lot downloadable movies through our Peer Impact(http://www.peerimpact.com) service, but your average person will need the Geek Squad to come in and install and configure it.

    Either way, I hope yesterdays announcements closes the gap with PC and the TV divide.

    Comment by Chris Bick -

  29. Answer to your question about content distribution and bandwidth

    http://www.redswoosh.net/

    Oh thats right your an investor in Red Swoosh …..Mark

    Comment by Matt -

  30. aa

    Comment by a -

  31. Good news for this time!

    Comment by Timir -

  32. many people thought consumers would not like mp3 quality because they had CD’s…they were wrong.

    We live in a YouTube generation, 100+ million of the harshest quality videos are viewed *every day* step it up to 640×480 h.264 and this generation just might be -content- to download -content- from iTunes.

    I know I am.

    the way to compete with apple is for Microsoft to mimic everything Apple is doing, but allow the stores to interoperate. i.e let Walmart Video downloads play on the Zune Ecosystem.

    without this, it will be a -curtain- call for Apple, and -curtains- for its competitors.

    -da

    Comment by da -

  33. I am an avid movie and television show downloader. I have every episode of Law and Order SVU avialable on stored on my ipod. I have also ripped several movies to my ipod including scarface and Saving Private Ryan. When I am traveling, I have movies to go. The battery will last generally through one cross country trip. More importantly when I jump on the elliptical trainer in the gym, if I dont want music, I have my shows and movies. Obviously doesnt work while jogging but having right in front of me on the elliptical works perfectly. So what about these announcments excites me, its not the television aspect. Why would I do that? The whole purpose of Ipod to me is “on the go”. If I want to watch a movie on my televions Ill buy or rent the dvd. The two most exciting apsects to me are the movies AND the new 80 gig Ipod coming shortly. Withou the new high storage Ipod the movies dont become as important because right now I believe you have half the storage on the biggest available. I cant wait for the 80 gig!

    Comment by Brian -

  34. “[threat by DVD retailers of] the direction their stocking orders will go if they cooperate with Apple”.

    You’re saying the DVD retailers will threaten to commit suicide if the content producers choose to make their content available in alternative forms. I don’t think so.

    Comment by GH -

  35. What is the possibility of having a tv with media center built in that wireless connected to your computer, interacted and played whatever content you had on your computer?

    Comment by Jason -

  36. For the price of the MediaSmart you could have had a 42″ 1080p LCD (Sceptre X42 $1600), Mac Mini ($600), wireless mouse and keyboard ($120), and a 500G firewire drive ($250). Then you could turn off that Media Center PC and sell it.

    Comment by TexasYellowDog -

  37. I think your suggestion is good, pleas keep on

    Comment by wood shelf -

  38. All I can say is you better post a picture of your iTV next to that 103″ panasonic ;)

    internet streaming will always be a bandwith issue .. smart (background) downloads to enable
    local (to tv) streaming is a different matter .. it does however remove some of the
    “on demand” convienence though..

    Comment by sdy -

  39. I think it is great that we will be able to download movies, but is it worth waiting 2-12 hrs for a movie to be downloaded? I have been using the Amazon Unbox and the quality of the movie is OK, the DVD version is obviously better. The fact is once you watch HD, you are stuck with HD and everything else sucks. You are right Mark, the cable companies need to keep pushing HD so consumers won’t brother with the current pixely downloads.

    Comment by Josh Speck -

  40. 5 Mb/s downloads are not that uncommon. Here in Portland, Or, 3 Mb DSL and 6 Mb Cable is available almost everywhere. I’m lucky as I’ve got 15Mb fiber to the home from Verizon. I guess I should feel special that I have 3 times the bandwith of Mark Cuban. :-)

    It will be interesting to see how well the iTV system works once it ships.

    Comment by Dave -

  41. That HP Mediasmart set looks great also! I may have to look into that.. I’d hate to buy it and lose the support due to lack of interest.

    Comment by Jerry L -

  42. “Downloading wont get any faster.” … why not “Add peer2peer software for delivering movies” ?

    Erik

    Comment by Erik Herz -

  43. First off, let’s turn down the Apple Total Reality Distortion Field for a minute. Steve Jobs’ passion and enthusiasm has the tendency to make all of Apple’s newly announced products seems better than they are. Here are my problems with the iTV and Apple’s new service.

    1) Watching movies on the iPod. It’s a very small screen. A nice screen, yes. But still very small, and I wouldn’t want to spend two hours staring at it.

    2) 80 gig HDs. Great size for lots of movies and pictures, but not video, especially not movies. A DivX quality movie is still in the 300-400mb range. This means that an 80gb iPod could hold, max, 200 odd movies. That’s at DivX quality. Put a DivX quality movie on even a 42″ HDTV, and it’ll look terrible.

    3) An Apple monopoly on digital media is the last thing I want. Let them innovate, then let others work with what they’ve done like they did with the iPod. I want options for my digital media, because competition breeds innovation.

    4) Unless they’re using 802.11n wireless technology, I have some concerns about the iTVs ability to stream that much stuff. However, if they are, it’s all gravy.

    Things I like:
    5) As usual, Apple has outstanding industrial design and a clean and usable interface.

    6) It gives cable technology manufacturers an excuse to get off their collective posteriors and innovate.

    7) It potentially hastens the arrival of true streaming HD. Give people something they can buy and use, and someone will find a way to provide the service.

    I like what Apple’s doing, but I don’t like where it’s headed. The idea of an all-Apple living room scares the heck out of me. Moreover, I’m wondering how well Apple will be able to utilize what they’ve built. How long until the proverbial 800 pound gorilla comes in and puts in their two cents (ex. Microsoft)? Like the iPod, I’m going to give this a generation or two to mature for the rest of the world to catch up to it before I really consider investing in it.

    Comment by Adam Licht -

  44. Mark – you want faster speeds – move to an area with Fiber – Verizon is offering 15/5 speeds right now for the same price as cable…. Average throughput is 11MB when I download movies…err I mean family home videos of course!!

    Comment by WRM -

  45. “Listening to music is something you can do passively, such as exercising or driving in your car. Watching video takes your full attention, which really limits what you are able to do while you are watching.”

    Very good point. A second reason why it won’t take off is bandwidth. A 5MB song is nothing compared to a 2GB movie.

    Comment by fast eddie -

  46. The MediaSmart TV is a classic example of a concept that would SEEM to have widespread appeal but will only excite early adopters. It’ll be gone in a year or two and “convergence” will still rank right up there with the Holy Grail as virtually unattainable symbols of nirvana.

    What I find interesting about iTV is that it is basically the hardware platform I had conceptualized. Add peer2peer software for delivering movies and its my concept in a nutsack. Offering high-quality videos with great compression is a formula for wide-spread video piracy and Apple’s DRM has more holes in it than a hooker convention. So how does Apple deal with that issue? Turn iTunes into a closed system P2P video delivery system. All Apple has to do is find a way to prevent the TRANSFER of video files from user to user. I see content being able to be transferred freely amongst a user’s own group of devices but I’m thinking that transferring video BETWEEN users will be next to impossible. Apple can afford the bandwidth to deliver direct to every user but P2P is “sexy” and will provide a massive ROI in the shape of severely reduced bandwidth costs.

    So that’s MY prediction… Apple is transitioning from a computer company to a content distribution company via it’s own proprietary closed system (iTunes up until this point has been primarily a vehicle to sell hardware, Apple makes very little profit from its iTunes Store). The coolness factor and ease of use alone will allow Apple to pull off what no other company has the cachet to do. The dream of millions of titles of video-on-demand is only a couple of years away and Apple is laying the groundwork. Pretty good pricing, ease of use, cool devices… the only thing missing now is a fully fleshed out distribution system. Up until now, iTunes has only been the frosting on Apple’s hardware cake… pretty soon, it will be the whole enchilada.

    Comment by James King -

  47. So what is the next step for Apple and its competitors?

    While this is nice, I think they should consider putting into a Mac Mini. I want to be able to record TV, not buy each episode. No mention of streaming music and pictures on this, but I think it’s safe to assume that it will. I have a hard time believing that it can stream HD video over 802.11g though. Maybe it will use 802.11pre-n standards? 640×480 is the “high” resolution the new iTunes movies is supporting. Standard TV is at 720×480. HDTV starts at 1080×720.

    Comment by totoro -

  48. The reason Apple made it so difficult to transfer music/videos from the iPod to your Mac is to protect the rights of the artist/record company…

    I’ve been impressed with the constant updates Apple has been throwing out. Every time they update someting, be it Mac OS X, iTunes, iMovie, whatever, it is better than the previous version. Moving from QT4 to QT5 was an amazing experience. The iPod is another example of this, the first gen was pretty cool, the second gen a bit cooler, the video version is the cat’s meow. I don’t see how the iTV (the name of which will change…http://www.itv.com appears to be a British broadcaster) won’t undergo the same type of change.

    Comment by Andy -

  49. >>>no inventory cost

    Sure, there is inventory, but not in the physical sense. There is one file per title, and that file is inventory. Surely their inventory exists across mirrored servers too. So yes, there is inventory, digital inventory. It’s small in the physical sense, but it’s there.

    Comment by Brad Spry -

  50. Thanks for your take. It is unique among the 1000 or so I’ve read or heard today. Being in Dallas I feel your pain regarding bandwidth. Having both DSL and cable maybe it is time I try a dual WAN router ;)

    Comment by Miller Logan, M.D. -

  51. The idea the on demand video in your pocket will never take off because of the lack of time to actually devote attention to it is simply not true.

    Think about how many people travel for work daily. Sitting on planes, on subways, trains, buses etc… Kids in the car and on buses on their way to school… There’s plenty of people who will love this.

    I know for a fact that being able to watch movies on my ipod instead of having to lug my laptop onto that tiny little tray on the plane to watch them will be great.

    I’ve always thought that the goal of these computer companies should be to have one media center in your house control all your media. Movies on demand, music and music videos, tv and recording and internet.

    Although Microsoft has had the Windows Media Center edition out for quite sometime… it still isn’t exactly what users are looking for.

    I also always thought Apple would be the one to lead the way in this and would probably be the only one who could pull it off. They tend to have a sense of style and simply know what customers want and it doesn’t take 7 years for them to offer it either.

    I think this announcement from Apple today is just the beginning of what we see from Apple over the next few years as far as digital entertainment.

    I soon envision a complete Apple entertainment center with HD TV and all, huge hard drive, movies, music and tv… all on demand. Maybe they’ll call it “iMedia”. Hmmm.

    Comment by Bryan Hauer - Official Blog -

  52. Although I feel this technology is fantastic and being able to carry around your favorite movies and TV shows in your pocket is impressive, I feel the technology will never take off for video as it has for music.

    Listening to music is something you can do passively, such as exercising or driving in your car. Watching video takes your full attention, which really limits what you are able to do while you are watching.

    And I speak from experience regarding this as I have a Sony PSP full of video content like episodes of Futurama that I love to watch. I thought it would be a great idea to have it available to me anytime I wanted it. But when and where can I use it?? ….not when I am driving to work, certainly not while I am at work or exercising (you get the picture). So when I actually have free time to watch the shows that I enjoy so much, I would rather watch them on my 42″ HDTV and not the small screen my PSP has.

    So while this market might really surge in its infancy stages, the consumers will eventually realize what little value it truly has. At least until we have cars that drive themselves or are rich enough to be chauffeured around like Mark.

    Comment by Michael -

  53. Mark,

    If you want the bandwidth Apple is getting, try Internap – that’s the secret sauce to iTunes.com. :)

    Comment by Curt W -

  54. Sweet tv. i’m so far behind technology i’m not sure i can catch up now. thats not as bad a price tag as i thought it would be. the only problem i have with apple and their ipods is that its difficult/impossible to transfer media from your ipod to your computer. if theres a way, i havent found it yet. i think once you are able to do that with ease it will make getting movies from apple more feasible.

    Comment by John -

  55. Mark you did cover new ground, I have read TechCrunch and others; your the different angle I was looking for

    – Thanks, Richard Bowles

    Comment by tech bog -

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