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Is Apple TV Toast?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by guest, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. guest

    guest Active Member

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    Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger: Is Apple TV toast? - Apple 2.0 -Fortune Tech


    FORTUNE -- There are two theories about what happens to Apple (AAPL) if Comcast (CCV) is allowed to swallow-up Time Warner Cable (TWC) and become the world's largest provider of cable TV and home Internet service -- a deal Comcast's Brian Roberts cheerfully describes as "pro-consumer, pro-competitive, and strongly in the public interest."
    Be that as it may, the news of the proposed merger, coming as it did in the midst of reports that Apple top negotiator Eddy Cue was close to hammering out a deal to stream Time Warner's content through a new version of Apple's $99 set-top box, immediately raised questions about what the merger might mean for the future of Apple TV.
    As I say, there are two theories.
    The first, favored among others by USA Today, TheStreet, Forbes, Mashable and Geekwire ("New Apple TV could get hosed by Comcast-Time Warner merger"), is that Apple TV may be toast.
    Their assumption is that Apple was blindsided by the merger news and that Cue will now have to re-start his negotiations at a huge disadvantage: "Given that Comcast has its own set-top box, the X1," wrote Forbes' Connie Guglielmo, "[it] would likely be uninterested in ceding any part of the Internet TV market over to a competitor."
    The second theory was put forward most prominently by the Wall Street Journal's Brian Fitzgerald, who asked:
    "What if the next Apple TV is the new set-top box that plays ball with cable?"
    Which is it?
    That question may be reductive and premature. Apple TV faces competition from Roku and others, and the proposed merger still has to pass muster with U.S. regulatory agencies.
    But to help try to sort things out, I've attached (above) Comcast's demo of its X1 platform, and (below) the best demo I could find of the current version Apple TV (with apologies for the long unboxing ritual).
    Is there a synergy there that Eddy Cue could sell? You be the judge.
     
  2. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    If whatever Apple and TWC were working was going to be good for TWC, I would think it might also be good for Comcast but I think Apple TV will continue to live or without that deal. Apple TV is a really good little box and among the most popular streaming boxes, along with Roku, so it is likely to continue in some form.
     
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  3. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    While I hate apple products I gotta admit their approach to Apple TV is far more sensible than Google's. I like that they admitted early on that it was a hobby. If I could stomach living in an Apple environment Apple TV would be a great alternative. I can't quite explain why I have this innate dislike of Apple products. Maybe it's because of the fact that in any of the forums I've joined regardless of the units being discussed, Apple users always find a way to promote Apple products. Their insistence goes beyond mere consumer enthusiasm to a Wisdom like obsession.

    It just seems so cult like...

    Carl
     
  4. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    I own an Apple Tv, but rarely see the need to visit a forum to discuss it. It's a pretty straight forward appliance that can't even do as much as a Roku. The only time I've bothered is when it refused to accept a firmware update. Turned out they had a bug related to using a wired Ethernet connection, and I just had to enable WiFi.
     
  5. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Straightforward, simple and limited is how I would describe Apple TV but I have thought about buying one since playing with my daughter's. I can't imagine I will go ahead and buy an Apple TV since I have so many boxes connected to each of my HDTVs already but I think what Apple TV does, it does well. Roku on the other hand does enough well to get my attention so I had to have Roku.
     
  6. Carlszone

    Carlszone Well-Known Member

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    If you do, please post your first impressions. I'm getting tired of GTV and I have at least 4 more empty spots in my entertainment hub that needs some set top box enhancement.

    Carl
     
  7. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    Hmm ... well we have both a Roku 3 and Apple TV. I used to be very keen on the Roku, especially for Plex, but I have come to favor the ATV3 over it. That's probably because we are mainly an Apple household ( though not exclusively by any stretch) and AirPlay just works great. Oddly enough even Plex works better on the ATV3 than on our Roku 3. For that matter, Plex on the GTV and even a Samsung Bluray player is better than Plex on the Roku. Bothe the ATV3 and GTV Direct Play everything. The Roku hammers my NAS unless I prepare videos in a very specific way. It just doesn't seem to be as capable.

    I also do not care for the new Roku layout with the large ad taking up the right half of the screen.

    An iPad+ATV3 is really far more capable than a Roku unless you are referring to some special premium services that the Roku has and audio is involved. On the other hand we use iTunes a lot and the Roku can't access that of course.

    Don't get me wrong. There is a lot to like about the Roku. Their warranty is really bad though. I also suspect that it might go through some hard times should Apple ever open up the ATV via an App Store. They obviously will have to do something as they can't just keep adding services at the rate they have been without changing the GUI. It 's getting a bit crazy now and the only way of dealing with it is to hide those you don't want ( since you can't delete any).

    I also don't care for the lack of control one has with ip settings on the Roku. I understand why they did that but I prefer to have the option of using my own approach.

    Philip
     
  8. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I don't use Roku for Plex or PlayOn, I much prefer Google TV for both. I had hoped to avoid using a PC at all for internet streaming or video file handling but that was a pipe dream. Several things I want are just not possible at this point without a PC.
     
  9. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    Well, a couple of things...

    1) I didn't mean to imply the Roku was a better product than the Apple Tv. That's more a matter of what you want to do with it and how it fits in to your system. In my case, my Roku 2 has been booted out of my A/V cabinet for a long time now but has earned itself a second life on a guest room TV. The Roku does have more channels and private channels, so there is more of a reason to try to follow what's going on with it. With the Apple Tv ... it's pretty much what you see is what you get.

    2) Even though I own an iPad it never really enters in to my thoughts regarding my streaming box. If someone is using the iPad and wants to put it up on the TV, then AirPlay is handy, but I don't startup say HBOGo on the iPad and then play it over AirPlay. Heck, one of my biggest problems with AirPlay is I can't even say off the top of my head whether that would even work or if that's one of the things that Apple excludes. So, AirPlay is neat, but it's not something I include when counting channels. Roku has a ton of channels, and works reasonably well, but it appears to be a slave to it's design. Meaning because it runs a dedicated scripting language, it's pretty easy to throw together a new channel for it, but it also seems to limit what those channels can do.
     
  10. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    Regarding point 2, I personally don't care to use a device to get things on a TV so I don't use Chromecast, AirPlay or even Roku's casting way. There's no question that Roku has a lot more channels as well as private channels. It doesn't have iTunes and iCloud which is a big deal for me and many people living in the Apple environment. The photo thing is a big, big deal for us given grandkids and so on ...

    There is very little that doesn't work with AirPlay. I've just been playing with it after reading your reply.

    Apple seems to have gotten a lot of channels recently although at the expense of messing up the layout. I am not sure what they are up to. One of the problems with the Roku is the number of channels, many of which are not great. More importantly, a Roku has gotten into the ad thing in a big way. Half of the home screen is effectively an ad. That was enough to get it demoted at our home. The ad thing is a slippery slope. Once in it's hard to reverse and soon there are more ads then content.

    Philip
     
  11. revue5

    revue5 Well-Known Member

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    Apps can be moved around (or hidden). But you know that , right? unless you mean, no option to add apps manually?
     
  12. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    I realize they can be hidden but that is hardly good GUI design. The home page of the ATV is beginning to seem really dated in my opinion. Even some of the apps seem worse ( like the Netflix app).

    If Apple would spend 5 or 10 minutes dealing with the ATV3 then perhaps it would be easier to appreciate.

    As for adding apps I assume that will come though hopefully there will be some filtering mechanism so that we aren't faced with thousands of junky apps. A totally open App Store has real risks. You also have the issue of how to control apps on a TV.

    Philip
     

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