Building a Mac home media center: How to get iTV capabilities today, for less

“Apple’s forthcoming iTV promises to place all your digital media on your TV. But what if you don’t want to wait months before enjoying your iTune’s music and video or iPhoto pictures in your living room? And is iTV really worth the price? Ryan Faas looks at the options that exist right now and tells you why you might actually be able to spend less money and get a more rounded solution today,” Ryan Faas writes for Peachpit Press.

Full article here.
Not enough is known about Apples’ “iTV” to be able to state categorically that you can replicate it for a lower cost today, but the article is interesting nonetheless.


  1. This may not go over well in this forum, but quite honestly, the Xbox 360 costs the same as iTV ($299,) and it can do EVERYTHING iTV does plus it has a built-in HD-DVD player, a hard-drive and it plays games.

  2. Options, that may be true but the same can be said about the iPod. Other players do the same literal functions, others even have extra features, the iPod has still beaten them.

    iTV may fail and the xbox may succeed in this arena, but comparing two products with somewhat overlapping abilities and then declaring one the winner based on specs alone is a bit stupid – especially when the iTV specs haven’t been announced.

  3. Options, I thought the HD-DVD is an purchased add- on with millions of lines of bloated code to work?

    A 20Gb hard drive won’t get you very far either…

    It may work, but not in any satisfactorily way. But it could interface with your Zune!

  4. I’m pretty sure you have to buy the HD-DVD cause it’s external. So 299 + 199 = more money than iTV. Plus it can’t play my iTunes content.

    Also the article is incorrect. He states that iTV is a one mac only solution. Idiot. Front row right now supports multiple macs from one machine and iTV will do the same.

  5. I agree, I’m not crazy about giving MS money either. But I do admit they’ve got a couple of things going for their model that Apple doesn’t.

    1. Movie RENTALS.
    2. HD quality.

    Two very important features for me. I hope Apple matches these features, when iTv is released. I also like the idea of having a DVD player and a hard-drive built in to my media center.. I’m not much of a gamer, but let’s face it, for the same price as an iTv, I’d probably buy a few games if I got an Xbox 360.

  6. Options, your XBox360 does not have a built-in HD-DVD player, it is big, power hungry and hard to operate by anyone not into games. The iTV will have a six button remote while XBox360 has joypads and a remote control with more buttons than a keyboard.

  7. and the xbox360 does NOT have a built in hddvd drive


    Sure it does, it’s the standard drive on the front of the box. The Xbox 360 uses HD-DVD format for it’s games. Blu-Ray would be nicer, but it is HD-DVD.

  8. The Xbox 360 might be a viable option for many people. However, it should be noted that the HD-DVD drive is an additional $199.99 on top of the on top of the $299.99 that you already paid for the basic system. If you want a Hard Drive to store information you need to buy the more expensive system for $399.99. So, for a 360 with a hard drive and the HD-DVD drive you will pay $199.99 and $399.99 for the system that has the hard drive for a total of:
    $599.98. (BTW. Sony PS3 with Blu-ray is $499).

    So, to recap:
    X-Box (with all options) $599.98.
    PS3 (with 20 Gig Hard Drive) $499.
    iTV $299.

    You can like the Xbox all you want (I have no problem with that) but don’t be so disingenuous about its price. It’s actually the most expensive option out there.

  9. @Options

    “it has a built-in HD-DVD player”

    Well, actually no.. Its not built-in.. Its an extra accessory that costs money…

    The rumored hard drive of iTV has a capacity of 60Gb.. The Xbox one is of 20gb… (BTW, the xbox version with hard drive costs 399$)…

    Anyway, i believe that a better price for iTV will be 199$…

    Also, you can’t stream videos in your mac to your xbox 360.. The xbox 360 uses a modified non-standard UPnP protocol that only works with windows xp media center and windows media connect..

    You can do that with a PS3.. Because there is software that support the Location Free protocol… But a PS3 costs 499-599$… And if you are in europe,(like me) you will have to wait until march 07 to buy one…

  10. I have a xbox 360 and personally I think it’s a great device, but the DVD-player doesn’t really give a great quality (maybe it’s just my dvdrips :D)

    And I would say that buying a xbox 360 will be a better buy than the iTV even if your not a gamer.

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