Apple TV is for You and YouTube

Like complaining about the lack of a display on the iPod Shuffle, or the lack of an FM tuner on the iPod, complaining that the first version of Apple TV is only 720p is a non-starter.

HD is not the point. Home movies aren’t yet shot in HD.

Simplifying the experience of getting internet video – youtube, video blog, etc – onto a television is the point. All the current offerings are awful. I’ve talked about this before.

Maybe HD will come later. Doesn’t matter. We need faster bandwidth, bigger hard drives, and better cameras to support HD delivered this way before then. Notice there’s no DVD drive on the Apple TV.

Apple TV does for television what Airport Express did for your home stereo. Extends iTunes. Just as Steve Rubel states:

“..although certainly exciting from a consumer POV, offers very little value for advertisers. The reason is that it’s basically a media extender.”

TiVo faired pretty well on the news, their stock inched up 0.2 points. Same with Palm (up 0.8). Compare that to RIMM – down 11 points). Yahoo has the graph

More later. Maybe.

In the comments, Michael Markman is right. There’s not specific tying Apple TV to YouTube (a really good thing). Any RSS feed sending audio or video to iTunes can be extended by Apple TV. Heck, drop the low-res Quicktime home movies to your iTunes library and Apple TV will send them to the big-ger screen.

Sure, the more purchases through the iTunes store, the more big media will be available in it. From a marketing perspective Apple wants to exchange our dollars for their DRM. There’s a whole bunch of video I’ve created that I want to send to the TV. Extending iTunes to my TV is the easiest way for me to do that.

Rubel continues:

“Apple TV won’t have the any kind of impact on TV advertising.”

Well, it’ll extend the impact Netflix and DVD players have had on TV advertising. In the words of Douglas Adams – “You’ve got to build bypasses.”


The ability for me to ‘subscribe’ only to specific shows and forgetting about the whole concept of a channel (which is essentially a hang over from broadcast) makes a damn site more sense to me.” – Karl Long

“Note that everything they are talking about is Big Machine Media, which I also have no intention of watching. I’m wanting to watch Strong Bad Emails and Ask a Ninja and Tiki Bar TV on the phone” – Dave Slusher

12 April 2007

“If you’re technically proficient enough to read this blog, AppleTV is not for you” – Dave Winer

30 May 2007

Beginning in mid-June, Apple TV will wirelessly stream videos directly from YouTube and play them on a user’s widescreen TV. Using Apple TV’s elegant interface and simple Apple Remote, viewers can easily browse, find and watch free videos from YouTube in the comfort of their living room.”

Note to Steve Jobs – the invoice for my consulting is in the mail 😉

2 thoughts on “Apple TV is for You and YouTube

  1. YouTube? Are you sure? I don’t recall Steve saying anthing about general web videos. Looks like Apple TV is just a window into what you have in iTunes. Maybe someone will hack it and provide a browser. (Funny, the phone runs Safari, but not Apple TV.)

    It looks like the main purpose is to make it more attractive to buy videos through the iTunes store.

    Apple TV doesn’t compete directly with TiVo… in fact, it was announced that Apple has licensed some unspecified intellectual property from TiVo. So it helps them.

    BTW: 720p is HD. It may not be H enough for Scoble. But it’s H enough for ABC, ESPN, and Fox. In fact, you can make a very good case that 720p is a higher resolution than 1080i.

  2. “In fact, you can make a very good case that 720p is a higher resolution than 1080i.”

    Approaching the 19mbps that is OTA HD transmission, both standards look very, very good. 1080i’s greater native horizontal resolution (to which our eyes are more sensitive), 1920 vs 1280, still gives it a distinct advantage.

    But this is academic– the AppleTV is limited to a bitrate of 5mbps, which is far too low for any kind of HD. So while the resolution of the device might be 720p, the low bitrate (lower than a commercial DVD at 480i!) insures that such video will remain web-quality on any HD display.

    But the menus will be gorgeous.

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