Apple + TiVo = Mac Media Capsule?

“When Apple’s Steve Jobs announced his iTV strategy last fall, for many of us it sounded pretty weak. You have to pay $300 to buy a device that then downloads movies that you still have to pay for and then to top it all off you only get ‘near DVD quality?’ While I understand why the Apple fans would like the product, it’s hard for me to imagine it having a more widespread appeal without DVR functionality or a Nintendo attached,” Davis Freeberg writes for Seeking Alpha.

MacDailyNews Note: Freeberg makes too great a leap: nobody knows the full capabilities of Apple’s ‘iTV’ and to confer capabilities onto ‘iTV’ based a sneak peek or on iTunes current video offerings – which can change at any time, and have changed in the past – is foolishness.

Undeterred, Freeberg continues, “At the time, there were a lot of questions raised about why Apple still hasn’t launched their own PVR product and a lot of debate over whether or not the iTV would end up being a DVR after all, but in typically Jobs style he gave out enough information to get everybody all lathered up, but not enough to give out any real details. Over the years, I’ve never understood why Apple hasn’t introduced their own PVR. It seems like it would be a natural compliment to their business and would fit in nicely with their media strategy.”

Freeberg writes, “As it turns out though, PRVBlog is reporting a pretty wild rumor that Apple is in fact planning on launching a PVR at Macworld and the kicker will be that they have licenced TiVo’s techology into their new iTV box. Interestingly enough, his tipster also says that they will be changing the name of the product to the Mac Media Capsule, which sounds a little screwy to me, but then again I never really cared for the name Wii, so I’m probably the wrong one to ask when it comes to branding.”

Full article here.

PVRblog reports, “I’m going to disclaim this upfront as a wild rumor that just landed in my inbox… Again, this is a crazy rumor with nothing to back it up and I’d be really surprised if any Apple device recorded TV, much less running the TiVo OS on it, but damn, if this is true, I would love to own such a device. I do have to say the entire iTV concept as previously described is a little thin. People won’t pay a couple hundred bucks just to have a device that plays iTunes Store purchases on their TV — it has to do other stuff, but will it be TiVo recording TV for you?”

Full article here.
Sounds pretty specious to us.

In related news, Ars Technica is reporting today that the TiVoToGo DRM has been cracked and the resulting utility, “TiVo File Decoder,” also runs on Mac OS X.

Related articles:
Analyst: Apple to release ‘AppleVision’ set-top box ‘TiVo killer’ – June 30, 2006
TiVo updates TiVoDesktop for Mac – February 15, 2006
Intel’s Yonah demo shows TiVo-like features buoying rumors of Apple Mac mini digital hub with DVR – December 14, 2005


  1. MacDailyNews Note: Freeberg makes too great a leap: nobody knows the full capabilities of Apple’s ‘iTV’ and to confer capabilities onto ‘iTV’ based a sneak peek or on iTunes current video offerings – which can change at any time, and have changed in the past – is foolishness.


    Yeah, it’s always better to speculate about what features the product might have, rather than rely on what we’ve been told so far when writing about how useful a product may be.

    LOL! What a fricking typical MDN, bulshi* response.

  2. The iTV product that Steve announced is perfect for me, but it needs to be $149. If it lets me purchase movies online using the remote then I would pay $199. At $299 it probably does even more, this additional info should be revealed at Macworld.

  3. Personally I’d rather just keep ripping/recording/buying/downloading to my mac and stream to the iTV. I don’t want to buy or record anything via the iTV. If it has a big hard drive to buffer and download content too – fine. If Apple can start selling DVD quality or (gasp) HD quality videos and the iTV is the ticket, then I’ll buy it. If it happens to do PVR – fine, but that really isn’t the selling the point. And I’m not staying up at night waiting for an Apple branded DVR. I just want an easy way to stream all my media from my Mac to my TV.

  4. TIVO isn’t the market Apple is shooting for, the cable companies are. Most people who have TIVO love them. Name one person who loves their cable company? If I could buy all the programs I wanted, and only the programs I wanted from iTunes and have them stream to my TV I would do that. It would cost me a lot less than the $100/month Comcast wants to charge me for digital cable. Heck, it might even cost less than the $50/month they charge for analog cable. Having my Mac download the programs at non-peak times and then making them ready when I want them would be worth the $299 cost of an iTV to me.

    The only thing this doesn’t work for are live events–read sports. But if I miss the big game live, and it’s available on iTunes later when I actually want it, that’s still a win in my book.

  5. Wireless senders distribute cable tv all over my house. Theoretically I could connect one to the Mac and do the same for a song, so the iTV better bring something new to the table or one big yawn will be heard all over the house.

  6. Less is More ‘aint lying. I do the same thing, plug my iBook into the wireless sender, manualy crank up an AVI,Mov,Divx,DVD or whatever (yes I do have to go through the painstaking ritual of finding the file myself and double clicking on it and then running to my lounge room before it starts) But it works, I just don’t understand Front Row/Media Center type apps. I’ve been doing it for years.

  7. Count me as another of those not impressed nor interested in iTV (or whatever it will be called) based on everything I’ve heard so far.

    If I’m going to spend that kind of money, I’d rather spend a bit extra and just connect a Mac Mini directly to my TV and have all the advantages thereof, rather than being limited to whatever access to those files iTV allows.

    Plus it won’t add unnecessary extra traffic to my AirPort network like iTV probably will.

    However, if iTV allows total access to my Mac, in effect making my TV a monitor for my Mac, then I might be interested.

    Might be.

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