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Maybe I don't know enough about the product yet, but I think that, given the large size of HD content, the time it takes to download will not be very appealing to the customer. Also, I assume this has a built in hard drive. What happens when space runs out? What happens when hard drives fail? This article also raises a few questions. Are all movies in the form of rentals, or can you buy to own? Is the content even in high definition? I don't think it ever specified.


Great article. Only small tidbit missing is that apple tv is 720p and BD is 1080p (I think?)


No mention of hi-def? No mention of owning the movies? Most still prefer to be able to "own" the movie (i.e. physical possession - not intangible data on a single hard drive.

Also, what is the point to hi-definition technology if we do not use it? With these downloads feature 48 Gig of 1080p content at 40 mbps with 7 mbps 7.1 channel lossless audio? I sure hope not because many people (even with the budget for such equipment) could never afford the monthly charge for the internet service that would download that at a reasonable speed WHEN IT EXISTS AND CAN HANDLE A DECENT AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC!

Downloadable content with current storage and the current vision is a "fools errand".

Now when I can burn it onto a blu-ray disc or holographic-- let's talk :-).


If you get the 40 GB AppleTV you can roughly store 4 720p movies at a time, AND they're time sensitive. What AppleTV wins is the rental wars...no more Netflix, no more Blockbuster.

BUT, people both rent and buy. They buy the movies they watch over and over, and don't want to pay $3.99 a pop to see the same movie over and over. So nothing changes for Blu-Ray. People will want their Lord of the Rings and Star Wars trilogies in HD for keeps, and they'll want it on Blu-Ray, instead of on 2 extra $299 AppleTVs.

Jarid Love

Say what you want, but video downloads have a lot of problems to overcome before it becomes mainstream like music downloads.

First of all, the file size is huge and the hard drive in the Apple TV will only hold a few HD movies. I have thousands of mp3 files on my pc, so music is practical, but to have that many movies I'd have to have many TB of storage.

Second, bandwidth is a huge factor. To download a single HD movie I have to start it at night and let it download while I'm sleeping because it takes all night. That's with a high speed Comcast cable connection.

Those two issues will take years to overcome. I've tried iTunes video downloads (ie. Pirates 3) and the quality is terrible on my 40" HD TV due to their 640x480 heavily compressed format. Compare that with the quality my blu-ray player at 1080p and there is an incredible difference. Until we have huge amounts of storage and significantly larger bandwidth, movie downloads are not very practical.


Yea, I have no idea how anyone could possibly think this will win the HD format war, at all. The people above me pretty much hit it the nail on the head.

BD has higher quality, MUCH higher quality. You own it forever. It has special features. It's a hard copy (which some people, like myself, prefer over digital movie storage). It doesn't require super fast internet to obtain quickly. Nor does it require extremely high bandwidth to obtain frequently. It costs more, but with all that you're getting, and the fact that you can keep it until the disc breaks, the price is , a bit, justified.

As far as renting, I still think Netflix is better. You pay a set price a month to have as many movies as you want a month. This is, what? $4 a movie? I could pay $5 with netflixand watch like 5-10 movies in one month. Whereas, it'd cost me $20-$40 for the other thing? Pass.

And for the people who dont want to drag a computer in they're room to play they're movies (that they most likely torrented for free) on a TV, burn a dvd. It's not hard. Each blank dvd you use will cost you about the same as buying one movie from apple TV.

When bandwidth is unlimited, internet is 10x faster and still cheap, and this thing hass a LOT more storage, this product will sell well. The only people I see buying this are the Apple people who think everything Apple makes is the greatest invention of all time.

Side note: As far as Apple transforming the digital music download business. Remember Napster? And every other program that was out before Apple decided to charge people to do it? Remember the digital music players out way before iPods? Apple didn't change much of anything, but thats just my opinion.

John C

I agree that this product will fare well with apple junkies and those who don't care about the visual and audio quality of a movie. However, for rest of us who give a damn about the enjoyment full 1080p and true 5.1 surround can bring, there is no question that Blue Ray wins. That being said, lets not forget that many Blue Ray advocates/users are also gamers. Does apple TV offer you that? no. And for under 200 dollars more you get everything mentioned above, including acces to the internet and youtube, plus a decent gaming system that's bound to have a strong 2008. No contest here. I know i sound like a sony fan boy, but i owne all three next gen systems. Plus, like collecting albums over mp3s, i like a physically tangible movie/music collection that i can walk up to and select from.


XBox Elite... HD Movie rentals no doubt TV shows to come and media centre. Plus you can play games. don't know about what the PS3 can do but imagine it is comparable.

I personally have no interest in ever downloading a rental movie, much prefer physical media.

Looks like Microsoft and Sony are already doing what Apple aspire to.

Roger Potter

You people are all wayyyyy over thinking this...the only real problem with appletv is that it only does 720p while blue ray gives you 1080p, with that said...this is a product in its early stages and will eventually have that capability. The hard drive issue is a non-issue unless you don't have a regular computer (which I would hope you do if you are tech savy enough to buy an appletv). Appletv pulls all content off your other computers and it works very easily and smoothly. This is not to mention the fact that we aren't far off from data clouds that you can access from any computer....anyway...to address earlier posts this is not apple trying to be a PS3 idiots...this is them ushering in the new era of content. Do you really think the next gen systems are going to even use hard media? No....they will have all content availible via download. This is the future....get used to it. Plus you act like you never knew about the itunes store before...you could ALREADY buy movies for permanent use...this is just another option....geez get out a little


When 100mb/s becomes standard and cheap, 5TB hard drives become the average size HDD, and they find a way for me to watch this on any tv in the house or watch it at my friends house, with little hassle, then this product will sell.
But for now i will stick to my blu-ray.

ps. I'd rather have a computer in my living room with many more functions then this apple tv.

pss. whats the big deal with having a computer in your living room? its just like the blu ray player or receiver under the LCD.


Apple TV: 720p (0.9 megapixels), 5 Mbps
Blu-ray: 1080p (2.1 megapixels), 40-50 Mbps

The media is all over Apple TV today, but no one is bothering to tell the public these slightly inconvenient facts.

Todd B

There seems to be much speculation lately that downloads will replace the ultimate winner of the high-def disk war. As alluded to in other posts, this is giving no distinction between those that rent DVDs and those that buy DVDs. When I buy a movie, it’s not about convenience. It’s about adding something to my collection that reflects my interest and personality. It’s usually something I’ve already seen at the (big) theater, or something that is impressive in a home theater. However, movies that I rent fall into an entirely different category. A movie may make me curious, but not enough to draw me to the theater or buy. These I declare ‘a rental’ and add to my Netflix queue. If download quality becomes good enough and convenient enough, sure I’ll switch my rentals to downloads. But this certainly will not replace me purchasing a Blu-ray to add to my collection.


Get a PS3 for $399 w/ 40GB and Blu-ray disc player. I got one and it does it job nicely on my 60'' HDTV. If you want the best, get the best, don't settle for less or you'll be disappointed. After watching a movie in Blu-ray, everything else looks blurry.


Don't forget you get to play video games on the PS3 too, and it's easy as pie to upgrade your hard drive since you can upgrade hard drive using non-sony brands.


WOW, so much stuff here, an excellent resource. Thanks guys!


You will be wasting your money if you get an Apple TV. Get a PS3 instead.


I think its possible to download an HD movie from iTunes to your PC / Mac, then play it from your PS3 / XBOX 360 if your computer is set up as a media server. Apple TV is kind of neat, but it really needs to be more than an extension of iTunes. I would be far more interested if Apple created software for both the XBOX and the PS3 to do exactly what the Apple TV already does. Quit selling worthless hardware when we already have it.


Tivo and Amazon already have the infrastructure in place for HD downloads and I believe Amazon has a larger movie selection. Once speed and storage are no longer issues (think 5-7 years) then HD 1080p will be feasible and Tivo has a huge head start on appletv.

Aaron Moore

I rent movies rather than buy and the thing I hate the most is a scratched disk that won't play after I get it home. Blu-ray's anti-scratch coating will be a nice change (when I get a High-Def TV).

Right now I am getting a Blu-ray recorder for my computer (LG 6x Blu-ray recorder $399). The 6x speed is based on a 1x rate of 36 Mbps so it improves on CD and DVD recording times (DVD 16x is 172 Mbps, CD 40x is 6 Mbps). I would have considered HD-DVD if it were competitive for computing, but it is not. Only 1x media and no recorders while Blu-ray already has 4x media out and the 6x recorder.


Why Apple TV might be a winner? At least before we know which HD format will be the winner. At the moment between BD and HD are 50/50 in terms of movies with BD having a small upper hand. Sure you have a BD but you can't watch the movies that's only available to HD DVD (that is if you want the 1080p true HD movies. otherwise just get a DVD). I am pretty sure if you can afford a BD you can add a HD DVD with no budget planning.

With Apple TV you can watch HD movies from either of these formats without having two players.


Don't know about Apple but HD-DVD is out of the picture. Companies have been dropping HD-DVD weekly after the Warner announcement.

- FS Films goes Blu-ray exclusive
- Kaleidescape goes Blu-ray exclusive
- Saturn (Largest German electronics retailer) goes Blu-ray exclusive
02-07-08 SF Films (Sweden) Goes Blu-ray Exclusive
02-07-08 Scanbox (Sweden) Goes Blu-ray Exclusive
02-07-08 Filmax Goes Blu-ray Exclusive
02-04-08 BAC Films (France) Goes Blu-ray Exclusive
02-04-08 Manga Films Goes Blu-ray Exclusive
02-01-08 ADV Films Goes Blu-ray Exclusive
01-31-08 Highlight Video (Germany) Goes Blu-ray Exclusive
01-30-08 National Geographic Goes Blu-ray Exclusive
01-30-08 EMI (Japan) Goes Blu-ray Exclusive
01-30-08 Sonic Solutions Scenarist Goes Blu-ray Exclusive
01-28-08 Woolworths Retail Outlet (UK) goes Blu-ray exclusive in store.
01-22-08 Grant's Appliances to go Blu-ray exclusive in 2008.
01-16-08 Senator Entertainment to go Blu-ray exclusive in 2008.
01-16-08 Digital Playground to go Blu-ray exclusive in 2008.
01-11-08 Constantin Film goes Blu-ray exclusive.
01-10-08 HBO goes Blu-ray exclusive.
01-05-08 New Line goes Blu-ray exclusive.
01-04-08 Warner goes Blu-ray exclusive.

Kari  Kolehmainen

I don't see how iTunes rentals and Blu-Ray are competing with each other. Reason why iTunes is successful in music is the ability to own the music. I believe people are just as willing to buy BD media as they are willing to rent HD movies. Did on-line (or any other) rentals have any effect on DVD sales? Why would the case be any different with HD formats?!

That being said, I'd like to get the iTunes rental to Europe as fast as possible because I think it has potential to be a great service. Still only effect that is has to my consumer behavior is that instead of going to rental shop I click my mighty mouse.

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I think that Apple is in for a rude awakening. Consumers like myself (and there are a lot of us in demographical terms) don't want to own digital copies of movies. I have a vast library of physical copies of purchased movies, which includes DVD's and Blu-Ray's. I like this physical library. As a consumer, something that is physical, takes up space, and that I can hold in my hand, has a lot more value than something that takes up space on my hard drive and is intangible. Apple has not won any formats war. Apple might have a staked an advantage in the rental category, but that is about it. Have you guys seen the $1 rental vending machines most McDonald's?
Anyway, I think most of the posts by
some of the really informed people above really nail all of the technical issues at hand in this situation. Apple is not the winner by any means. Get a blu-ray player if you want truly amazing picture and sound, and
like to own physical better copies of the movies you love.

Blu-Ray Movies

There is no way for HD-DVD to win over Blu-Ray. Blu-ray features almost triple of what HD-DVD has. So there is no chance for HD-DVD to be even come closer with their competition.

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