The Motley Fool examines Apple’s iTV victims

“Apple did throw down the gauntlet with iTV, a device that will plug into your tube, then wirelessly stream media from your home Mac or PC. A lot of techies have been working a long time to try to make this work well, and even Apple doesn’t have it right yet, since it’s not appearing until the beginning of 2007. Here’s who’s got the biggest potential to lose when iTV hits the street,” Seth Jayson writes for The Motley Fool.

Jayson writes, “The small fry who already make devices that do the same thing — and there are some — stand to lose in a big way. You can bet Apple’s version will be slick, clean, and resonate well with the iFaithful. For a company like Pegasus Wireless, which has been hyping its wireless video-transmission devices, this may be the final blow to a still-overinflated stock. And if the reported compatibility with PCs is true (hey Apple, do us all a favor and make it run Windows Media files, will ya?), even nonMacs like me will be tempted to pick one up.”

MacDailyNews Note: Don’t hold your breath on that one, Seth.

Jayson continues, “Hewlett-Packard stands to lose big in a couple of ways. The first is with ‘media PCs.’ Simply put, no one has made these workable yet… I give Apple credit for realizing that trying to jam a PC into our home theaters is probably a lost battle — at least for now — and taking the simpler route to link the office box to the family-room entertainment center.”

“But HP also stands to lose on an interesting product few know anything about: It’s been hawking a Wi-Fi-capable, media-crunching, 37-inch LCD “Mediasmart” TV for quite a while. The trouble for HP here is twofold. First, no one’s heard of this thing. (I only came across it in Mark Cuban’s weblog.) The next is that it costs more than the price of iTV plus a 37-inch widescreen. And, of course, folks who already have the big old widescreen won’t need to buy a whole new unit. Thanks to Apple, we’ll be able to just buy the gadget that interacts with the screen,” Jayson writes.

Full article in which Jayson begs Microsoft to fix Xbox 360’s media streaming so he can forgo the iTV here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “DLMeyer” for the heads up.]

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24 Comments

  1. “and even Apple doesn’t have it right yet, since it’s not appearing until the beginning of 2007”

    I suspect the biggest hurdle to this thing being ‘done’ is the ratification of the 802.11n standard, not anything Apple hasn’t been able to do.

    from Wikipdeia:

    “According to the IEEE 802.11 Working Group Project Timelines,[2] the 802.11n standard is not due for final approval until July 2007.
    It has been reported that 802.11n interferes with existing 802.11b and g wireless networks. It has also been reported that the range of the 802.11n has reached up to 1/4 of a mile. Interference on this scale is a major setback for 802.11n”

  2. “…hey Apple, do us all a favor and make it run Windows Media files, will ya??”

    Microsoft released Flip for Mac for OS X, which adds WMV components to QuickTime. Just do a couple of installs: one from Apple, and one from Microsoft. At least we know the Apple download won’t infect your machine. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. the other Steve Jobs,

    “Microsoft refuses to make DRM’d Windows Media files available to Apple.”

    That’s not true. What is true is that Microsoft refuses to make a Mac OS application to playback those DRM’d Windows Media files.

    But Apple can write that app if it wanted to by licensing it from MS just the way all those others do.

  4. Rasterbator…

    Not wishing to be picky, but Microsoft are about as responsible for Flip4Mac as I am for the engineering at Ferrari.

    Flip4Mac actually comes from Telestream, who provided a licence to redistribute Flip4Mac to Microsoft, presumably at some cost to the Redmond Robber Barons. Microsoft had no commitment to improving Windows Media Player on the Mac (not to mention the absurdity of the branding conflict), and certainly no commitment to providing a production workflow solution for the Mac platform; I would assume that Microsoft and Telestream’s agreement probably pays Telestream a fixed annual fee based on projected new Mac CPU sales multiplied by a heavily discounted licence fee, say 2.5 million multiplied by $3 to $4.

    Telestream released Flip4Mac back in April 2005 as a low-cost codec plug-in for QuickTime and finally made the basic playback version available for free in January 2006 simultaneously with Microsoft’s re-distribution agreement. All other versions, both playback and production, are only available from Telestream directly.

  5. Re: iTV

    I said it before and I’ll say it again:
    Leopard will play a huge part in the final feature set of iTV! That is why iTV will not be released until next spring when Leopard is released.

    The Top Secret features that make it worth upgrading to Leopard relates in big part to iTV functions.

    For some reason no one, not even the genius anals seem to be able to put the pieces to together.

    Rock on Steve!

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  6. If you have Flip4Mac installed on your Mac you can play Windows Media files even in Front Row. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal to make it work with a set top box. Since the makers of Fli4Mac are now the ‘official’ support for the Mac, maybe they can do something to support Janus DRM encoded files. THAT would be huge for a whole lot of people.

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