Apple TV ships; Vista PCs need not apply

Apple TV ships; Vista PCs need not apply

Summary: Apple said it shipped Apple TV today and we'll now get a feel for how big of a product this will be for Steve Jobs & Co. Apple TV allows you to port content from your PC and iTunes to your television set.


Apple said it shipped Apple TV today and we'll now get a feel for how big of a product this will be for Steve Jobs & Co.

Apple TV allows you to port content from your PC and iTunes to your television set. Walt Mossberg gave it the thumbs up (subscription required) in the Wall Street Journal today.

Most of the details about the product--a $299 price tag and a 40GB hard drive--are known. What's most interesting is what wasn't said:

Apple's statement notes that "Apple TV requires iTunes 7.1 or later running on a Mac with Mac OS® X version 10.3.9 or later, or a Windows PC with Windows XP Home/Professional (SP2)." Translation: Vista PCs need not apply.

And then there are the Apple's asterisks, which include:

  • Video playback based on 640x480 iTunes video content. Music capacity based on four minutes per song and 128-Kbps AAC encoding. Photo capacity based on Apple TV viewable photos transferred from iTunes. Actual capacity varies by content.
  • Compatible with 802.11b/g/n. Based on an IEEE 802.11n draft specification.
  • Wireless video streaming requires an 802.11g/n network.

Topic: Apple

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  • There is much better available

    A Windows Media Center pc is a much better option, so is DLink's Medialounge.
    • True enough except the price tag

      I took a look at a couple Media Center PCs. They were horribly expensive and one was $2199. The other was considerably cheaper but had much less HD space, less RAM, and huge case compared to the expensive one.

      Still the ITV just doesn't provide any real use to me. So what if I can play content off my PC. The content I want to play isn't on my PC. For $300 I'd rather buy a DVD recorder. I've seen them for as low as $200. I'd get tons more use from that.
      • You can get a good WMC <$1000

        Dude, you can get into a decent Media Center setup for well less than a $1000.

        All you need is a decent Vista machine with Home Premium, and a $150 Hauppauge tuner that has the remote. You have to get two to be to record and watch another channel, but that should still put you around the $1000 mark.
        • True enough

          I think you only pay more for the fancy cases that Media Center PCs come with. I've done some playing with MYTV and for sure you can build you own unit for less than $1000. Only issue I have is I don't want a PC in my living room.
    • Much cheaper alternatives

      Why spend for a Media Center PC? That's a completely different beast that does much more than the AppleTV. To get nearly the same functionality as an AppleTV, just buy a cheap cable for your iPod and connect it to your tv.
      tic swayback
      • But will that give you the same resolution?

        as I would imagine that this device would clean it up a bit as, I'm taking a guess here, that they sacrafice some quality to keep the file sizes small.
        John Zern
        • It depends..

          I hook my wife's iPod to the TV (27") and to the TV in our car. The picture is fine. You just have to make sure the media was encoded at a decent bitrate and size. I do not encode anything to the iPod's 320x240 size.

          I am not sure of the resolution on iTunes, but I know that Pirates...II is a 1.7G file. I could rip that DVD to 1.3G including AC3 surround sound and still get a decent picture on my TV.
          Patrick Jones
  • iTV not 4Me

    I have to admit that I love just about everything Apple. But I'm not very excited about
    Apple TV. Do we really want to watch 640x480 compressed video on big TV screens?
    I can't imagine what that would look like. And do we really have a need to stream
    video to our TV sets? Or photos? I just don't get it.
    As for Apple TV not working with Vista....who cares? LOL
    • It supports 720p

      The AppleTV does support 720P resolution if the video is in that format.
  • I'll stick with TV + DVD. I see no reason to waste energy with this toy.

    As usual, some new pompous easily-scratched gadget comes out that only wastes resources, is so cheaply built the batteries will probably fail in 3 months, requires more resources that use more power on their own to be of any use (the computer itself!), and one of the members of Apple's board froths at the mouth about saving energy while rackin' up big electricity and heating bills of his own, and never mind this Apple company allowing gross volumes of chemicals to get chucked into landfills only until very VERY recently (only 11 months ago did Apple start to change its tune, according to and they really need to update their site too...)
    • WTF?!

      What on earth does this have to do with this article? Your post does not have a single relevant sentence in it.
  • he did test it on vista and it did work... can you read?

    "It worked great with laptops and desktops alike, with Windows XP and the new Windows Vista operating system, and with newer Macs powered by Intel processors and an older Mac powered by an IBM-built G5 processor."
  • Consdiering that most of us ...

    ... enjoy access to cable TV already -- and DVR capability for a small up-tick in fees, it is not at all clear that this tool, which is apparently not even HD-capable, is much of a bargain -- especially since it also includes a subscription fee. It's inability to work with Vista is pretty shorted-sighted as well.
    M Wagner
    • Hold it now there buddy .

      I recall Microsoft not wanting to create a new version of Windows Media Player for Macs , they stopped at 9 . Well how does it feel now that Apple is refusing to make Apple TV work for Vista , and if it does , it's not supported . In fact is iTunes even available for Vista ?
      • How does it feel?

        I have a Media Center type PC already tied into my TV. Have had it for years. Myth, WMC, GB-PVR. I get real codec support, the ability to record, everything.

        I feel good that I didn't wait for Apple to 'invent' such a substandard solution.
      • The difference is that when Microsoft did it ....

        ... they excluded 3.5% of the market globally for a free software application. When Apple did it they ignored the fastest growing segment of the market for a device they hope to sell for $ 299.00. Who do you think took the right path?
      • Actually, yes, Apple was pretty quick to ...

        ... solve the Vista bug -- which only related to Apple-protected music. I could care less if Apple decides not to support Vista with Apple TV. My point was than when you own 90% of the market (as MS does) you can afford to be arrogant and not support those guys occupying the other 10% but if your one of the guys sharing that 10%, you cut off your own nose to spite your face. Apple would care very much of Micrsoft customers did not install iTunes or buy iTunes music simply because that is a huge customer base. I like my iTunes and my iPod but I prefer Windows as my OS.

        In truth, Apple is probably taking care of their customers first and the largest installed base next (XP). If it doesn't already work seamlessly under Vista, I expect that it will very soon.
        M Wagner
    • you have no idea what you are talking about...

      did you do any research or even read the story you quote.. he tested on Vista and it works.. 720p is and HD format the last time i checked and more than likely the same HD format that your cable company uses... WTF???

      how can someone so clueless an uninformed on appleTV and HD write an article on it?

      can you please fix your article! it's wrong!
      • Have you?

        Mark Wagner is not on the list of contributors to this article. There are two formats of HD in use today by broadcast, Cable and satellite 720P and 1080I. PS3, Xbox360 and BlueRay DVD support 1080P. All of the iTunes content will be 480i or standard definition.
        • what does iTunes store movie res have to do with the appleTVs max res??

          i can take 720p HD video drop in in iTunes and stream it to appleTV...

          i.e. i can rip my DVD or down convert my HD DVD, blueRay (not legal, but i could do it very easily) and stream in to my appleTV in 720p HD...

          i can take the HD recordings from my HD tuner card drop it in iTunes and stream it to appleTV

          who is clueless???

          people have come to this strange conclusion that the only content i can use with appleTV is from iTunes... IT'S NOT!! i can use any content i want and stream it up to 720p

          hello... AppleTV can do 720p... what does that have to do with what iTunes store offers in terms of resolution??