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Author Topic: First shot at an "Apple TV?"  (Read 3607 times)
perkiset
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« on: October 21, 2009, 01:06:11 PM »

This was really interesting - at first I thought, "Useless." But then I reconsidered...

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/10/21/apples_new_27_inch_imac_designed_to_also_work_as_a_display.html

This may not be a shot at the living room (or may well be) but may well be a shot at the dorm room. Consider having your computer AS WELL as a blueray player, TiVo or any other device ported into the device - it does in fact replace the need for a TV as well as a computer, with a really high-end display.
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 01:14:07 PM »

Yes my good friends (one of whom is a professional photographer) use their iMac in just this way already, with iTunes, Hulu, et al. TV for the bedroom.
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 01:16:45 PM »

A huge drawback has been the lack of ability to hook physical things up to it though - I also like the net-streamed stuff, but I LOVE my TiVo and still think it's the gold standard for TV recording. Note also that there's no TV tuner option for the box by default: you need to, at the very least, purchase an eyeTV to get that functionality ... so I think this will make adoption in the (x)room easier and, the more I think about it, consider this a clever and shrewd move.
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perkiset
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2009, 10:47:54 PM »

So I spent some time at the Apple store today.

First off, was fortunate to spend a little time with one of the guys that had a demo Magic Mouse so I got to play with one - I was actually quite impressed. It's got a solid aluminum bottom, presumably because it needs to be more solid and steady when you finger stroke the top. The are no distinct buttons, but right and left clicks were clear, easy and natural. It felt good in my hand, being much less wimpy, delicate and plastic feeling than previous mice. Unfortunately, you need 10.6.2 to open up the finger actions on the surface, so I was unable to demo that.

But anyway, I spent some time talking about the new 27" and the video input port. It's a MiniDisplay, so a simply male-to-male will allow a notebook to take advantage of the larger screen. But much more intriguing is the notion of a HDMI to MiniDisplay cable as I've talked about above. Since the iPhone can act as a remote for the computer (and they just came out with a new aluminum remote that looks more stylish, but not necessarily any more functional) it seems that they are steadily making their way towards the holy grail.

Wrapping up my earlier blather, since you need a TV port into the Mac (if you want to watch live TV) then a Tivo HD is a perfect companion. Cable/digital in to that will do your digital decoding (and pay per view channels and such as well) and TV to HDMI conversion. Then simply connect the TiVo to the iMac and you've got a pretty darn sturdy and solid mid-room media center I think. Certainly not huge, but great for a mid-sized application. Of course what comes with a full computer in the den is well known.

One challenge will be multiple inputs, which it is not designed for. A manual switcher to connected your XBox OR Wii OR your TiVo would be necessary, but for many this might not be too big a compromise physically, to get the best of both worlds.

There aren't any open on the store floor yet, that should be tomorrow which I am looking forward to. Also just noticed the newest high end iMac for sale - quite a large package for a reasonable price: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/imac?mco=MTA4MTg1MDA

... quad core i7 with 4G ram, 1TB drive and of course that gorgeous monitor for 2199... I just tried to build a quad core with the same memory, HD, processor and display and the price was $5288 ... I must have done something wrong because I built an HP with reasonably the same specs for just over 2 grand, although it looked monumentally cheesy.

In the final analysis, considering the value perspective, I think this is a smoking machine & deal, both for the desktop and the living room (obviously you'd need a lot less whoomf in the living room...)

The only thing that is not yet known, is how exactly you switch between looking at the Mac's output and then switching to the video port's input. That would have to be something really easy to do and, frankly, on the remote control or it'd add too much complexity to the process. Let's hope they get that right - they've not been spot on with monitors and adaptors lately.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 10:50:51 PM by perkiset » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 12:24:11 AM »

I was checking new iMac yesterday too at Mac store.. damn that display is nice. I couldn't resist my "funny" side and I put goatse as homepage for Safari on the machine... sorry. Hmm, I wonder if there's app that record iSight and sends it to remote server. That would give some great reactions on video Cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 06:52:41 AM »

Meh.

Cable is a dinosaur. I know one guy who still pays for his TV service. If Apple's looking to hook stuff up to cable and satellite dishes, they're looking to the past.

Sorry man, Tivo is yesterday's news too. It's on its way out unless it makes its set-top boxes start streaming media from the 'tubes.

 
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 10:18:50 AM »

I was checking new iMac yesterday too at Mac store.. damn that display is nice. I couldn't resist my "funny" side and I put goatse as homepage for Safari on the machine... sorry. Hmm, I wonder if there's app that record iSight and sends it to remote server. That would give some great reactions on video Cheesy
ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO I love it ... I'll bet that rose some eyebrows.
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 10:22:44 AM »

Cable is a dinosaur. I know one guy who still pays for his TV service. If Apple's looking to hook stuff up to cable and satellite dishes, they're looking to the past.

Sorry man, Tivo is yesterday's news too. It's on its way out unless it makes its set-top boxes start streaming media from the 'tubes.

 
You may well be right, but there's still an awful lot of entrenched componentry and infrastructure. It'll be quite a while, I think, before cable actually goes away. Particularly since so many folks that get their broadband GET it over cable ... until it's easier to go internet than it is to hook up my TV to a little piece of coax, there'll not be widespread adoption IMO.

And regarding TiVo, you're right as well - it's an old Linux box that is essentially a one trick pony - although there efforts into NetFlix and now Blockbuster online demonstrate that THEY don't think they're gone. TiVo (IMO) is still the gold standard for recording live television and they take advantage of the simple coax-to-TV connection to effect their product.

Regardless of their antiquity, I think both are going to bother us for quite some time yet.
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 10:31:14 AM »

ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO I love it ... I'll bet that rose some eyebrows.
Well I sometimes have these urges to do stupid things like draw pussy in the snow on the hood of a car if car is parked front first. That way hopefully driver doesn't notice it when he goes to the car and start driving. Also drawing BIG penises on the passenger side of the car (especially BMW and Mercedes Benz). That makes me feel all warm inside.
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2009, 01:16:02 PM »

Whomever is handling video adapters and video interconnectivity for Apple needs to be fired, and right quick.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/10/26/apple_mini_displayport_to_dvi_adapter_incompatible_with_new_imac.html

Give the troubles I've had with the existing 24" monitors (no extension cords) no female MiniDisplay to DVI so that a Pro can have 2x24s (you have to add a separate video card), the miniDisplay being seen as a 1024x768 monitor when connected to a 30" and now this tells me that no one is minding the store in this department. VERY VERY frustrating and clearly outside of the experience they want to provide.

Angry
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2009, 03:46:58 PM »

The display... grumble... damn it that display is nice. 
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perkiset
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2009, 04:01:59 PM »

I spent some time with one the other night and it is *stunning.* I mean, it's frickin' gorgeous.

But the asshats that are in charge of anything "monitor" for Apple really need to get their asses kicked. Really.
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perkiset
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2009, 05:45:15 PM »

Well, although the physical explanation makes sense, in the final analysis this is horseshit.

According to the MiniDisplay specs, it's a packet type video signal, not a physical signal, so the MiniDisplay port is uniquely capable of doing bi-directional video (ie., used as an input device as well as an output device) - but if a device doesn't send a MiniDisplay signal, then although the MiniDisplay is capable of exporting video to older digital and analog formats, it cannot receive that way.

More: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/10/26/tests_confirm_apples_27_imac_only_supports_displayport_input.html

Veriphuqued IMO.
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