Apple’s iTV: Where’s the DVR?

“When Apple uncharacteristically showed an early preview of its tentatively named iTV set top box, analysts of all stripes jumped to share their take on what the box is, what it will be able to do, and how it might change the landscape of TV,” Daniel Eran writes for RoughlyDrafted. “Here’s part one of the more entertaining bits of rampant speculation, which asked: Where’s the DVR?”

“Despite the fact that nothing in Apple’s demonstration or the released specs even hinted at recording TV, all the analysts wanted to know just how Apple planned to shove a DVR into this tiny box. Inconceivable! The DVR mystery was quite a puzzle. For starters, there’s no tuner, no video inputs, and no Firewire on the iTV. Considering that Apple invented Firewire, and that US FCC regulations require cable boxes to supply Firewire, it would seem reasonable that if the iTV were intended for recording TV, the idea of putting a Firewire port on the box would have occurred to Apple,” Eran writes.

“Apple apparently realizes that the DVR market is already well represented, fairly mature, and entirely profitless. Users might love their Tivos, but the company that makes them lost nearly $50 million this year as it struggles to shore up Tivo sales with experimental new popup advertising tests,” Eran writes. “Much like its WMA platform, Microsoft’s stab into the DVR world offers too little integration and too much complexity. It’s also too expensive and demands too much commitment from users. Predictably, it’s also selling about as well as Microsoft’s WMA gear.”

Eran writes, “Of course, Apple doesn’t need to introduce DVR capabilities to the Mac. Elgato Systems already ships a highly regarded DVR software package, and …also already uses the name EyeTV.”

Full article here.

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37 Comments

  1. Apple’s iTV: Where’s the DVR?

    —————-

    There is none, and there won’t be one because Apple sells TV content for $1.99 at the iTunes store. Releasing a product with a built-in DVR would kill their iTunes TV content business.

  2. Hello, Mr. Obvious here. I’d just like to state that [obvious] and [apparent] will be happening this [obvious]. With regard to the [obvious], it’s [apparent] that [obvious] will be feature-for-feature [obvious] than the competition. [Obvious] specifications don’t really matter at this point, and that’s all we have to report [obvious] since we [obviously] don’t do much to make a living [apparently].

    Goodbye [obviously].

  3. andy – actually they did. It wasn’t entirely Apple. Apple, Sony and others were creating it as a whole.

    the name Firewire is Apple’s. And actually, at hte beginning, was charging .25¢ per unit that was shipped using this name. That’s one of the reasons some manufactuers when with 1434E ( or whatever it was called ) and sony went with iLink.

  4. This is exactly what I thought when his Steveness showed the “iTV”. It is perfect Apple design in that it does one thing and one thing only and does it very very well. If Apple added in DVR capability the “iTV” would very quickly start to look like a microshaft media center. Personally I don’t need nor want the complexity of a DVR when most of what I do is watch movies. The iTV appears to be the perfect solution to my ever growing “Wall-o-DVDs”.

  5. Let me answer

    Where’s the DVR?”

    First off, most HD content is going to be HDCP DRM encrypted in the US by 2008. So DVR ability is going bye bye.

    “Despite the fact that nothing in Apple’s demonstration or the released specs even hinted at recording TV, all the analysts wanted to know just how Apple planned to shove a DVR into this tiny box. Inconceivable! The DVR mystery was quite a puzzle.

    No DVR what so ever. The iTV is going to act just like a modern cable box with a hard drive inside, downloading movies and allowing you to watch it for a certain time, then self delete. Only difference is it will work over the internet instead over cable.

    For starters, there’s no tuner

    No tuner needed.

    no video inputs

    What the fsck is HDMI? moron. Look up HDMI for spec’s.

    and no Firewire on the iTV. Considering that Apple invented Firewire, and that US FCC regulations require cable boxes to supply Firewire, it would seem reasonable that if the iTV were intended for recording TV, the idea of putting a Firewire port on the box would have occurred to Apple,” Eran writes.

    Firewire is on cable boxes true, but it’s extremely difficult on Mac’s to utilize the Firewire for HD.

    Also there is this problem with HDCP DRM chips not being on the recieving end of the Firewire cable.

    The iTV is going to be a content delievery system integrated with FrontRow over the internet, it’s going to compete with the cable boxes.

    The reason Steve jobs demo-ed it before release is to tempt Hollywood with a alternate to the cable monopolies.

    I tried this and it’s a pain in the arse software is too old and one has to be a developer to get newer versions I believe. Worth your effort if interested.

    http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2349&p=3

  6. Great take Mr. Obvious,

    I personally don’t want a Movie or TV collection on a hard drive, because:

    1) I have to buy the hard drive

    2) When the hard drive fills up, I have to delete Movie or TV shows I bought, or buy another hard drive

    3) A hard drive is a mechanical device that receives no maintenance, and will fail eventually. So I have to back it up with…another hard drive.

    So the inability to burn my purchased content to DVDs is a showstopper.

    Now, if Apple went the rental model, where for 2 bucks you temporarily unlock a movie on a video vault on the internet and stream it to your big TV, THAT would be another story…Cheaper and faster than Blockbuster or Netflix, and potentially way more selection.

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