Apple regroups for living room push; drops 40GB Apple TV, slashes 160GB price

Apple regroups for living room push; drops 40GB Apple TV, slashes 160GB price

Summary: Apple on Monday quietly discontinued the 40GB version of its Apple TV device and slashed the price of its 160GB model by 30 percent.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Apple, Mobility
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Apple on Monday quietly discontinued the 40GB version of its Apple TV device and slashed the price of its 160GB model by 30 percent.

The 160GB model, which retailed for $329, now retails for $229, the price of the 40GB model before it was dropped.

Since its introduction in Sept. 2006, the Apple TV hardware has remained unchanged, save for boosts in capacity.

The move indicates that the company may be regrouping for a renewed push into the living room. Though Apple has referred to the Apple TV as a "hobby" and experiment on the "third screen," the new iTunes 9 has been said to include updates formatted specifically for the device.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Mobility

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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9 comments
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  • I'll keep hoping for a hardware refresh...

    But it's equally likely they did this because there is no longer a real price difference between a 40GB hard drive and a 160GB hard drive and sales between the two are equally lackluster. Why have 2 models at all when the parts cost the same?
    oncall
  • Until it does 1080p, it's a non-starter

    Don't care about pseudo-HD 720p devices in my living room. I won't feed a 720p signal into my 1080p flat panel. I also only watch 1080p TV signals. I watch Blu-ray, HD-DVD, and even my DVDs are upscaled to 1080p. When the Apple TV enters the 21st century on its video output resolution, then I'll look at it. Until then, they could sell it for $25 and I wouldn't buy one.
    BillDem
    • I expect

      Getting 1080p is probably not on Apple's priority list. The reasons IMHO are simple, the file sizes and resolution are too large to be supported by the primary iTunes customers: owners of iPods. Also, the file sizes needed to really support 1080p are too large to be supported by the average users computer hard drive. I have zero HD movies but a respectable movie/TV show library and 1TB is getting very cramped, and I really only want 1 RAID array to protect my purchases, not a fleet of them. In HD 720p my collection would have long ago surpassed even a 2TB RAID 1 array (which when I started buying movies a 1TB drive was the king of the hill). Likewise, for most of the nation, the bandwidth is simply not there to transfer 10+GB movie files. These factors greatly favor Blu-ray for those who demand true 1080P resolution.

      I am not trying to convince you that you are wrong to demand 1080P. You want what you want and that, obviously, is NOT the AppleTV. I am just throwing out practical reasons why 1080p capabilities in the download market is going to take a long while to become reality.

      P.S. I guess I would say the AppleTV is indeed grounded in 21st century technology. Unfortunately, it's stuck in the EARLY 21st century as are the rest of us ;)
      oncall
    • Perhaps it's time to buy AppleTV!

      Gee, BillDem. You must have money to burn like me! You demand the best! Good for you. Problem is your programming is a bit limited. Even with my DirectTV I can't get EVERYTHING in 1080p (some content I like simply is not available that way)!

      AppleTV does sound like a nice device to replace my aging Tivo (even though I also have DirectTV HD-DVR (2 of them)).

      The AppleTV will easily allow me to burn my recorded video to a backup DVD. Perhaps it's time to buy!
      No More Microsoft Software Ever!
      • It would be nice

        But the tech simply isn't there. This is where some folks/companies have been less than genuine in reporting the marvels of HD programming. True, uncompressed 1080p takes up ENORMOUS amounts bandwidth. HD movies I record on my Verizon FIOS DVR box literally eats the hard drive alive, I can only hold a few movies. Anyone watching an HD movie on cable TV knows they are compressing the hell out of the signal. Streaming a 720p HD movie to my Apple TV basically sucks up my entire Airport extremes capabilities leaving nothing for web surfing or other AppleTV's (for the record I own 3). Sooooo, people who say AppleTV is garbage because it cannot do 1080p are grossly overstating things, it is actually using the available tech very efficiently. Will it beat 1080p Blu-ray? No chance, it was NEVER meant to.

        But, it's a matter of trade-offs. I gladly trade off the picture quality for the convenience of the AppleTV. For some others they want maximum picture quality and for them Blu-Ray is the only real option.

        P.S. the truth is that for the "average" user with the "average" wireless network and the "average" internet bandwidth and the "average" hard drive storage capabilities and computer what AppleTV delivers is going to be "just right".
        oncall
  • I just don't get Apple TV.

    I really do not understand it or its purpose in life. Rental? I
    can do that across the street for less $$$.
    Bruizer
  • RE: Apple regroups for living room push; drops 40GB Apple TV, slashes 160GB

    So Apple TV's a "hobby", eh?
    Sure! and if I write screenplays to sell and
    nobody's interested in buying them, my
    excuse is, "Oh, well, it's just a hobby."
    The place to sell your hobby stuff is craft
    shows at malls.
    JeffreyPaull
  • RE: Apple regroups for living room push; drops 40GB Apple TV, slashes 160GB price

    Let's face it, this is Apple's one big flop. Who wants a device that only plays what Apple allows to play?! Just let it die already, no one with any common sense will buy this brick.
    nothingness
  • RE: Apple regroups for living room push; drops 40GB Apple TV, slashes 160GB

    I think the Apple TV has its uses, but more iTunes
    integration may be nice. http://www.computersncs.com/rd_p?p=186122&t=9530&a=29944-
    zdnet&gift=26721
    lovemagic