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#24Days: Apple TV, Yeah Right….

Posted on Sunday, August 23, 2009 | No Comments

I’ve just read this report (found on Digg), about one analysts prediction that Apple will be making their own TV sets by 2011 which will have the Apple.TV (media center) built directly into it, allowing you to stream movies and content directly to the Apple branded TV screen.


Now, an Apple branded TV set is all very well and good, but really, is this something they need to released to the world?  When I buy a TV, you can be assured that I will be owning that TV for number of years – either until it is completely outdated or it blows up or develops a fault.  What I won’t be doing, is going out and buying a new TV set just because some company releases one onto the market place – no matter how many bells and whistles it has bolted onto the back of it.


I have an 32” LG HD TV, and connected to it is a Acer Media Centre PC which is currently running Windows 7 RC1, which primarily runs Windows Media Centre.  It has two TV cards in it so I can watch and record simultaneously and its connect to the internet, so I can stream YouTube and the world wide web directly (very useful for things like live webcasts I have to admit). 


My point is that attached to my TV is a device I can upgrade at any time and that is completely open and allows me to do just about anything with it.  Just the same way if I bought and plugged in a Apple.TV media centre I would get pretty similar results.  Now, if my Media Centre stops working, I have two options, I can either replace or repair, knowing that my TV will continue to run in its “normal” mode.  If my TV breaks down, I know I won’t have to spend a fortune replacing an entire screen and media centre solution all in one go.  So, far keeping the two devices separate makes absolute sense, no?


Apple, by combining them together, is only doing so in a bid to conquer the living room space from the computer console manufacturers.  That’s because Apple don’t have a console that sits under the TV that can stream content and play games the way Microsoft Xbox 360 or Sony’s PlayStation 3 does, so they’ve had to re-adjust the strategy and offer an alternative device – and this is what they’ve come up with.


I can imagine that they’ll sell a few too the die hard Apple fanboys – but who in their right mind is going to give up on their beloved Sony Bravia in favour of some unknown rebadged TV with a media centre bolted on the back of it?


Also, Apple being the ‘closed’ company that they are, I wonder if the device will actually allow other devices to be plugged into it?  I mean, Apple who protect their ‘experience’ at all costs, couldn’t possibly allow you to plug in your Nintendo Wii or your Blu-Ray player into their TV could they?  It might just ruin the Apple TV viewing experience?!  Heaven forbid.  So, that’ll have to be the first rule, no third party devices being able to run without prior Apple approval.


Another thought that just crossed my mind – I wonder how long it would take people to jailbreak their TVs once they got sick of the Apple interface in favour of further customisation?  What if you no longer wanted to download your movies from iTunes but instead from Netflix or Amazon at a cheaper cost?  Would Apple allow you as the view to do that, I think not, considering they won’t even allow other devices to sync with their beloved iTunes application.


So, will I be buying an Apple TV set?  I very much doubt it – I think I’ll put my money into upgrading my Media Centre, expanding my NAS (Network Attached Storage), and streaming my media in my own open way.

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